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Post  Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:08 am

Fair warning: What follows is just more of my model airplane ramblings.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mud Dabber is a Sig Mk I "Kadet" I built in the early 1980's. It's name came from the way my grandma pronounced "mud dauber"...the type of wasp-like bug that builds it's nest from mud "dabs" they pack through the air.

Drawing inspiration from Don McGovern's "Boondock Bird" design from the 1960's, Mud Dabber was intended to fly from any ole handy patch of dirt (or mud, if need be).

About the time of it's completion, the factory where I worked was sponsoring a "Run/Ride-a-Thon" for a charity, and I decided to make my contribution by way of having my own "Fly-a-Thon", with Mud Dabber following the route.

A friend and fellow flyer donated the use of his pick-up, with another good friend manning the camera.

On the evening of the Run-a-Thon, we launched Mud Dabber from the parking lot of the factory, and set out on our adventure. In those great old "pre-terrorist" days, I never gave a thought to asking permission from the plant management, or the state park where we would be landing...we just went our free spirit way.

I'd equipped Mud Dabber with an auxiliary fuel tank under it's right wing, and intended to make the 9 mile flight non-stop. During test flights, the tank worked just fine, as long as I DID NOT try to throttle down Mud Dabber's O.S. 35FP engine. For reasons too nerdy to explain here, it had to stay at, or near, full power to keep running.

As we hit out, it quickly became obvious that Mud Dabber was going way too fast to be followed by a pick-up truck on a twisty county road (with it's pilot and camera crew riding in lawn chairs in it's bed).  My fellow R/C pilots will probably chuckle at the suggestion of a "High Speed Kadet", but at full power, Mud Dabber was trimmed nose-down, and booking like a freight train. Zig-zagging and circling kept this a bit under control, but was not fun at all.

At about the half-way mark, in the crooked-est part of the road, I ventured to back off the power just a bit, and was rewarded by the .35 promoting me to R/C glider pilot status. Prop stopped and gradually coming down, the model fortunately was pretty high when it's engine quit.

We made it to a relatively straight stretch in the road, where Mud Dabber's thick airfoiled wing allowed it a slow touchdown out in front of it's chase vehicle.

I didn't care much for the prospect of zig-zagging Mud Dabber overhead as we drove through the "tree tunnel" leading to it's landing in the park's picnic grounds, and decided to bypass the wing tank. Now, the O.S. was back to it's former good-idling self, and off we went.

With one more cautionary landing for fuel, we drove through the "tree tunnel", with momentary glimpses of a slow flying Mud Dabber high above. Arriving at the picnic grounds, I had one more surprise: I had not considered that someone might park on Mud Dabber's runway...and a Ford Pinto, at that.

Circling Mud Dabber down as low as I dared over the tree tops, I brought it through a cut in the trees, touched it down, and jammed on it's nose wheel brake (yes, back then, it did have a brake).

Mud Dabber plowed through the grass to a safe stop, with many of the runners wondering what the heck was going on.

We took Victory Photos, and headed out for a dinner. I think I collected about 200 bucks in pledges, many from great people who'd already chipped in for the fund raiser.

So ended my first model airplane cross country flight, 25 years before Little Traveler's epic 15 mile non-stop journey.

And, the old trainer is STILL flying, after two or three major rebuilds. It's now waiting for a new fuel tank, that will happen soon.

Photos range from it's finishing in my tiny mobile home bedroom shop, the Fly-a-Thon, to some of it's later antics.

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da13

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da11

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da12

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da14
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da16
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da15
...........................................................................

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da17
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da18
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da19

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da21
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da26
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da20

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da22
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da25
.................................................................
"Mud Dabber Days" 0_025
"Mud Dabber Days" 0_121
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da23
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da24

"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da28
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da29
"Mud Dabber Days" Mud_da27
"Mud Dabber Days" 25_13


Last edited by Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:20 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post  Ken Cook on Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:56 am

Kim, as always cool stuff and well documented. Hats off to ya. Ken
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Post  getback on Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:02 am

Very Nice little story brought a tear to my old eyes thinking about you and your friends all having fun and fling a Fly-A -Thon to raise cash for the needy. Thank You as always Kim . sunny cheers And first pic what is the story behind the broken prop on the wall? Airplane
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Post  fredvon4 on Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:20 am

Admin ....I would love to know stuff like this....(several members CEF have hours dedicated to great writing and foto documentation)....is preserved for all time

but that right there is the folly of the internet...

someday all-- every thing, even published content with library of congress number, will be deleted to make room for the other 10 billion new daily posts

I love my internet and thought Austin Texas the Capitol...bond for new public library fro $450 million was stupid....then it occured to me....we are slowly burning books....electronically.....doubt me......do a few Google searches for things taught to you in 5th grade (or when ever) that you took as fact....history, science, farming, hunting, politics, riots, .....you might find controversial stuff onn Wiki....but the bottom links, most of the time, go to error 404

Kim and so many others here have enlightened and entertain me for a decade now

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Post  andrew on Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:33 am

As usual, a great story and pics of days gone by. I always enjoy these reads.
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Post  Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:10 am

getback wrote:Very Nice little story brought a tear to my old eyes thinking about you and your friends all having fun and fling a Fly-A -Thon to raise cash for the needy. Thank You as always Kim . sunny cheers And first pic what is the story behind the broken prop on the wall?  Airplane

Thank you Eric!  You've got a sharp eye!

The prop is from the Easy Riser ultralight/hang glider I finished and flew in 1980.  In the mid-1970's, it's sibling "Icarus" was fitted with a McCulloch 2-stroke engine by a fellow named John Moody, who became what many consider the father of Ultralight flying.  It all started for me when I found an article on Moody and his Icarus in a tattered Popular Mechanics someone left in the airport line shack sometime in 1977.

I became obsessed (and I mean OBSESSED!) with building my own, and doing it piecemeal took me right around 3 years to build and get it going...with plenty of delays from lack of funds to buy parts.  My new job at the diaper factory solved the money problem (at least 'till I got my stupid self married), and I flew it on the 30th of June, 1980.

I flew it for three summers before deciding to get my pilot license.  The cranky West Bend 2-stroke quit so often that I stopped considering engine failures as emergencies.  It did glide well, but I was tired of carrying my flying machine back to the field and wanted to fly home like the "real" pilots.  

Still have it, though somewhat battered by a take-off crash that shattered it's beautiful prop (which was fairly exciting due to it's close proximity to my head).  It was repaired, and flown another summer, but was finally folded up and stored. Probably gonna scrap it out when I get the heart to do so.

I refer to it now as, "The Greatest Thing I Ever Did That I Got No Credit For".  People that didn't fly thought we were crazy---people that DID fly thought we were crazy, but it was some of the greatest fun of my life for the time it was happening..including the building.  

The deepest cut came from members of my own family whose opinion meant a lot to me.  They weren't fliers, but fancied themselves to be aeronautical engineers, calling my plane a "contraption", saying I'd be lucky not to die...along with my new, young wife talking about how my life insurance wouldn't pay off if I got killed (feel the love).  Hell, there would have been another guy on her before my carcass cooled off.

Crap!  I've almost written another article!  Sorry for the run-on.  Anyway, here are some photos from that time:

"Mud Dabber Days" 1_91
"Mud Dabber Days" 2_85
"Mud Dabber Days" 3_62

"Mud Dabber Days" 4_56

"Mud Dabber Days" 4_511

My new harness !!!!

"Mud Dabber Days" 4_611

"Mud Dabber Days" 4_710
"Mud Dabber Days" 4_810
"Mud Dabber Days" 4_910

"Mud Dabber Days" 5_010

1st Flight


"Mud Dabber Days" 5_126
"Mud Dabber Days" 5_211

"Mud Dabber Days" 5_610
"Mud Dabber Days" 5_711
"Mud Dabber Days" 5_811

"Mud Dabber Days" 6_610
"Mud Dabber Days" 9_25
"Mud Dabber Days" 22_21
"Mud Dabber Days" 13_27
"Mud Dabber Days" 34_15
"Mud Dabber Days" 38_12


............................................................................

I was lucky to meet up with Earl, a great guy who provided a BUNCH of tips on flying my Riser.


"Mud Dabber Days" 6_43
"Mud Dabber Days" 6_8510
"Mud Dabber Days" 7_37


Last edited by Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:58 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post  Marleysky on Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:29 am

Kim, Now those are some memories! Glad you had the determination to “keep on trucking” towards your goal of flight. Even better, you have pictures and are still here to share the story(s). Yeah, you could write a book! Thanks for sharing.
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Post  Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:58 am

Marleysky wrote:Kim, Now those are some memories! Glad you had the determination  to “keep on  trucking” towards your goal of flight. Even better, you have pictures and are still here to share the story(s). Yeah, you could write a book!  Thanks for sharing.

Thank You!!!!

These comments are appreciated...as I sometimes worry about droning my friends into avoiding me!!!


Last edited by Kim on Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:30 pm

fredvon4 wrote:Admin ....I would love to know stuff like this....(several members CEF have hours dedicated to great writing and foto documentation)....is preserved for all time

but that right there is the folly of the internet...

someday all-- every thing, even published content with library of congress number, will be deleted to make room for the other 10 billion new daily posts

I love my internet and thought Austin Texas the Capitol...bond for new public library fro $450 million was stupid....then it occured to me....we are slowly burning books....electronically.....doubt me......do a few Google searches for things taught to you in 5th grade (or when ever) that you took as fact....history, science, farming, hunting, politics, riots, .....you might find controversial stuff onn Wiki....but the bottom links, most of the time, go to error 404

Thank  you so much Fred!  I've started making hard copies to protect the stuff I (and others) write from being "leaned" or accidently dumped.

Kim and so many others here have enlightened and entertain me for a decade now


Thank You Fred!!!!


Last edited by Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  andrew on Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:12 pm

It's a contraption, but it's a WONDERFUL contraption.

Seeing those pics took me back to my high school days (the fact that I lived to adulthood is pretty much a miracle).  In the 60's, hang gliding was in its infancy and the Rogallo wing was the choice at the time.  I had a couple of buds who, like me, fell into the "Hey ya'll, watch this!" classification (many of our shenanigans did not end well).  We decided those glider folks shouldn't have all the fun and leave us out.  Being the only modeler in our group, I built several "wings" from balsa and silkspan until I came up with dimensions that flew pretty well.  We scaled it up, bought cheap muslin, sewed the wing up and painted it to make it non-porous.  The framework was wood. We lived in an agrarian region that's pretty flat and not very windy, but we had access to tractors -- if you can't glide, at least you can pull it.  We had a modicum of success and managed not to break any bones until we tired of repairing it and moved on to other equally dangerous pursuits.  I had not thought of that escapade for a long time until reading Kim's post -- thanks for the memories.
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Post  rsv1cox on Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:15 pm

Kim wrote:
Marleysky wrote:Kim, Now those are some memories! Glad you had the determination  to “keep on  trucking” towards your goal of flight. Even better, you have pictures and are still here to share the story(s). Yeah, you could write a book!  Thanks for sharing.

Thank You!!!!

These comments are appreciated...as I sometimes worry about droning my friend into avoiding me!!!

Not much chance of that Kim. Your posts always garner my attention, especially those with "Mud Dabber" in them. I think I love that old bird as much as you do.

Bob
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Post  Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:25 pm

rsv1cox wrote:
Kim wrote:
Marleysky wrote:Kim, Now those are some memories! Glad you had the determination  to “keep on  trucking” towards your goal of flight. Even better, you have pictures and are still here to share the story(s). Yeah, you could write a book!  Thanks for sharing.

Thank You!!!!

These comments are appreciated...as I sometimes worry about droning my friend into avoiding me!!!

Not much chance of that Kim.  Your posts always garner my attention, especially those with "Mud Dabber" in them.  I think I love that old bird as much as you do.

Bob

Thanks Bob! It's for sure an old buddy.
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Post  fredvon4 on Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:55 pm

Thank you so much Fred! I've started making hard copies to protect the stuff I (and others) write from being "leaned" or accidently dumped.

I wish my brain was not a fuddled as most of you friends here

and I certainly echo Bob's comment.....with only two or three exceptions....CEF content by the usual suspects is deeply appreciated and worthy of my time

I need not list the frequent posters...we all know them....but be certain brother Kim.....look at the views vs comments to your several threads...

old time catalogs...a hit
on the ramp...a hit
breezy hill flyers...a hit
traveling what the heck plane (brain cramp)...a hit
Small ya all...a hit

there are other Kim posts...I loved your essays of daily life on the ramp

bouncing around in the caravan to museums/swap meets and airplane events...keep them coming we all love your perspective

I damn well know I am speaking for all CEF....
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Post  Kim on Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:35 pm

Thanks a bunch man !!!
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Post  balogh on Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:15 pm

Kim a beautiful documentary...seeing your pics and reading your flight stories just remind me what life I would have loved to live and where else than I actually lived in the late 70-s and early 80-s.
And I also was less fortunate than you when accidentally flying at least 2 or 3 of my COX powered RC planes over a wood area and lost sight of them, never to recover. That bushland near the flying field I go to is probably the largest COX engine cemetery in Hungary that I regret to have filled up with lost souls myself..I may end up buying and moving to a countryside property like your uncle's farm just to allow me to fly my planes as freely as you do with no worries about bothering others..

Thanks for just another great thread
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Post  Kim on Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:26 am

andrew wrote:It's a contraption, but it's a WONDERFUL contraption.

Seeing those pics took me back to my high school days (the fact that I lived to adulthood is pretty much a miracle).  In the 60's, hang gliding was in its infancy and the Rogallo wing was the choice at the time.  I had a couple of buds who, like me, fell into the "Hey ya'll, watch this!" classification (many of our shenanigans did not end well).  We decided those glider folks shouldn't have all the fun and leave us out.  Being the only modeler in our group, I built several "wings" from balsa and silkspan until I came up with dimensions that flew pretty well.  We scaled it up, bought cheap muslin, sewed the wing up and painted it to make it non-porous.  The framework was wood. We lived in an agrarian region that's pretty flat and not very windy, but we had access to tractors -- if you can't glide, at least you can pull it.  We had a modicum of success and managed not to break any bones until we tired of repairing it and moved on to other equally dangerous pursuits.  I had not thought of that escapade for a long time until reading Kim's post -- thanks for the memories.

Hey Andrew,

Good to hear that you also know about "Got-To-Get-Off-The-Ground-Syndrome"!!!! I've often compared it to Richard Dreyfus' "reprogramming" in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind...he couldn't stop thinking of the aliens' rendezvous point...we just could not stop thinking about flying!!
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Post  ian1954 on Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:00 am

I love the camera strapped to the fuselage.

Seeing this reminded me that it was Kim, with his aerial shots and videos, starting with the key chain camera that got me to try the same and then move on to FPV so that I could see what I was recording or snapping real time.

That is a mighty workhorse of a plane.
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Post  Kim on Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:04 am

balogh wrote:Kim a beautiful documentary...seeing your pics and reading your flight stories just remind me what life I would have loved to live and where else than I actually lived in the late 70-s and early 80-s.
And I also was less fortunate than you when accidentally flying at least 2 or 3 of my COX powered RC planes over a wood area and lost sight of them, never to recover. That bushland near the flying field I go to is probably the largest COX engine cemetery in Hungary that I regret to have filled up with lost souls myself..I may end up buying and moving to a countryside property like your uncle's farm just to allow me to fly my planes as freely as you do with no worries about bothering others..

Thanks for just another great thread

Thank you Andras!

Yeah, I considered the "tree tunnel" to pose the biggest threat to the project's success, and it was really hard for me to release the sticks, and just wait for the model to reappear past the thickest lumps of tree limbs.  This happened 3-4 times.  

The road was curvy, and I had to do a quick correction before it disappeared, and then turn loose of it again.  I'd even had a couple bad dreams where we emerged on the backside with no Mud Dabber in sight.  It was only out of sight for 2-3 seconds each time, and seemed like forever, but the yellow plane reappeared on course each time.

By comparison, "Little Traveler" was out of sight a maximum of 2 seconds, and didn't require any corrections to it's flight path.

"Mud Dabber Days" 6_44

We sure can cause a ourselves a lot of angst trying to have fun !!!
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